Israeli security services have disrupted a Hamas financing scheme that used trade to move value into West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In the scheme, a senior Hamas figure used his financial exchange business to contract Gaza businessmen, persuading them to work with him in exchange for financial benefits. Textile merchants appear to have been used as a cover to move product into the Gaza strip that could be sold to Gaza residents for a profit. The funds from the sales were earmarked for Hamas activity such as paying salaries of Hamas operatives and their families, arms purchases, and funding of hostile terrorist activity.
Analysis: Trade-based movement of goods and value by terrorist organizations is a well-established methodology for moving and raising funds. This method of moving funds takes advantage of international trade networks but also allows the terrorist organization to move funds (value) without interacting with the formal financial system, making interdiction of their funds much less likely.